Ghost (1990) Movie Poster

Trivia for Ghost (1990)

Showing all 106 items
Jump to: Spoilers (4)
  • The role of Oda Mae Brown was not written with Whoopi Goldberg in mind, but Patrick Swayze, an admirer of hers, convinced the producers that she would be right for the part.
  • Patti LaBelle auditioned for the role of Oda Mae Brown.
  • At theatrical showings in Monterrey, Mexico, women in the audience were given envelopes marked "Solo para mujeres" (for women only) containing tissues.
  • (Cameo) Sondra Rubin: Writer Bruce Joel Rubin's mother, who played the nun who faints over the size of the check that Oda Mae endorses.
  • Shortly before production began, Whoopi Goldberg was unsure if she was going to be able to put this movie into her work schedule. The part was then verbally offered to Jackée Harry, who accepted. However, at the last minute, Goldberg was able to do the film after all and Harry was dropped.
  • When the movie was first released on VHS in 1991, the tapes were light or "ghost" gray.
  • (Cameo) Charlotte Zucker: Director Jerry Zucker's mother (who has appeared in many of the Zucker brothers' movies) plays the bank officer.
  • The subway scenes were filmed on the abandoned lower level of the 42nd Street station of the IND 8th Avenue line. Trains appearing in the film wrong-railed through the station; that is, they ran in the opposite direction of normal operation.
  • The horrific sounds made by the "dark shadows" are really the sounds of baby's cries, played at extremely slow speed backwards.
  • When it came time to cast the film, writer Bruce Joel Rubin suggested Patrick Swayze for the role of Sam Wheat. Director Jerry Zucker felt that Swayze was completely wrong for the part. Many actors that included Kevin Bacon, Alec Baldwin, Nicolas Cage, Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, David Duchovny, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks, Paul Hogan (who instead made Almost an Angel (1990)), Kevin Kline, Dennis Quaid, Mickey Rourke, John Travolta, and Bruce Willis (Demi Moore's husband at the time, who didn't think the film would work) were all offered the part, but all turned it down, feeling that playing a ghost would be cheesy. Zucker then decided to audition Swayze, though he thought he would blow the audition. To Zucker's surprise, Swayze gave a great audition, and was cast immediately for the part.
  • Patrick Swayze and Vincent Schiavelli, who played the subway ghost in the scenes with Swayze's character, both died of cancer at the age of fifty-seven.
  • When passing through solid objects, ghosts appear to absorb some of the material, through which they are going. Jerry Zucker had some difficulty explaining what he wanted this effect to look like. Finally, he illustrated it by dipping a napkin into coffee.
  • Vincent Schiavelli's ghost character breaks open a cigarette machine and longs to be able to have another smoke. In real-life, Schiavelli died of lung cancer.
  • Initially, Bruce Joel Rubin was unsure about Jerry Zucker directing his script, with Zucker coming from a background of screwball comedy.
  • Screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin wanted Patrick Swayze to play Sam Wheat after he saw an interview Swayze gave. When he brought up his father, Swayze burst into tears. Rubin thought if a macho guy like Patrick Swayze could cry over a loved one, he'd be perfect for this movie.
  • For several years, Patrick Swayze had women coming up to and asking him to recite the line "Ditto" from the movie.
  • The role of Molly Jensen was given to Demi Moore largely in part because Moore could cry out of either eye on cue.
  • Patrick Swayze alleged that Sam Wheat was the hardest role he ever played in his career, mainly because he had to be an observer to the action, and not a participant.
  • In her first role, Sondra Rubin playing a nun was ironic, because she never went out in public without make-up. She is the real-life mother of Bruce Joel Rubin, and was given a cameo in the film.
  • Patrick Swayze said that the pottery scene was the sexiest thing he had ever done on film.
  • The first film where Jerry Zucker received a sole directing credit.
  • Of all the characters Bruce Joel Rubin has written, Oda Mae Brown remains his favorite.
  • The scene with Molly at the police station was the first scene to be filmed.
  • Demi Moore came up with rolling the jar down the stairs, as opposed to throwing it as scripted.
  • Director Jerry Zucker's favorite film of his own.
  • Screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin did not like the idea of the Dark Spirits having faces and hands. He thought they should have looked more like shadows come to life, not ghouls with human features.
  • It took several months for Director Jerry Zucker and Writer Bruce Joel Rubin to come up with Sam's last line in the film.
  • The song Sam sings relentlessly to Oda Mae to get her to agree to help him is "Henry the Eighth, I Am". The lyrics, in part, are "She wouldn't have a Willie or a Sam..." Patrick Swayze's character is named Sam, and the man who murdered him is named Willie.
  • The film's general storyline is expanded from an old urban legend dealing with a spirit of a recently deceased trying to warn their loved one of an imminent danger.
  • Nicole Kidman auditioned for the role of Molly Jensen. According to writer Bruce Joel Rubin on the DVD commentary, the reason for Kidman not getting the role was that she simply wasn't a big name.
  • Starting in the early 1990s (shortly after the release of this movie), hip-hop lyrics often included Patrick Swayze's name or the phrase "I'm Swayze" as a reference to or replacement for the earlier slang, "I'm ghost", meaning "I'm leaving/out of here/gone, et cetera." The Notorious B.I.G. was one artist who was especially fond of including this phrase in his songs. Swayze's appearance in the video for Ja Rule's "Murder Reigns" was also a reference to this movie's and his own interesting place in hip-hop culture.
  • Whoopi Goldberg's character is named Oda Mae Brown. Later in the film, she briefly uses the name Rita Miller. Taken together, the names are a friendly shout-out to Writer Rita Mae Brown, author of Rubyfruit Jungle.
  • The interior of Molly and Sam's finished loft apartment was actually the home and studio of artist sculptor Michele Oka Doner, located in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan, New York.
  • Rotten Tomatoes has the movie kept at an "R" rating, despite the MPAA officially approved the film to be rated "PG-13".
  • Demi Moore and Vincent Schiavelli shared the same birthday, November 11. Schiavelli and Patrick Swayze died at the age of fifty-seven; Schiavelli from lung cancer, and Swayze from pancreatic cancer.
  • In the farewell scene where Sam tells Molly that he always loved her, Patrick Swayze's emotion was real, for he thought about his own father, who passed away in 1982.
  • Paul Hogan was offered, but passed on the role of Sam Wheat, because he felt it wasn't funny. However, Paul Hogan offered Patrick Swayze the role of Steve Garner in his supernatural comedy Almost an Angel (1990), but Swayze turned it down to do this film. Elias Koteas got the part instead.
  • When they were filming the chase scene at night in New York City, it was really cold, and everyone else was bundled up except for Patrick Swayze's character Sam Wheat, and since he's a ghost they didn't want his breath showing so they had him chew ice.
  • Oda Mae goes nuts and wants Sam to stop singing. Patrick Swayze in real-life was a one-hit wonder; he had a top ten hit with "She's Like the Wind" from the Dirty Dancing (1987) soundtrack.
  • Eddie Murphy was considered for a role, but his agent turned it down for him.
  • Luis Guzmán (who was considered for the role of Willie Lopez) revealed in a documentary focused on character actors that he's frequently stopped by fans of the movie who think he's the actor who played Sam's killer. People ask him why he killed Patrick Swayze, to which he always replies that Rick Aviles, the actor in question, was the one who did it.
  • Part of the events seen in the movie are taken indirectly from the book "Life After Life", written by Dr. Raymond Moody and published in 1975, a series of compilations about people who by a brief time were dead and later lived again, called NDE or Near-Death Experience. Between them, the concept of a light white tunnel, which appears when a person dies to take his soul to the Afterlife (in the movie it appears three times: when Sam dies, when a man dies in an operating room, and when Sam saves Oda Mae and Molly, completing his unfinished business). The second part is the idea of black spirits who capture the souls of bad people to take to other side of the Afterlife, called Lower Astral, a place similar to Judeo-Christian Hell to punish and torture them. The third part is people, maybe friends and familiars, who wait to receive the recent dead to the Afterlife. It is showed when Sam walks toward the Afterlife at the end of the movie, where he mixes with a lot of spirits who wait for him (as they appear in diffuse figures in blue, it's impossible to know if they are Sam's friends or familiars).
  • Although the concept of a light white tunnel that moves souls from Earth to the Afterlife was "discovered" to the world population by Dr. Raymond Moody in 1975, the first person to show it was Hieronymus Bosch, a Renaissance painter, who in 1490 made a painting called "Ascent of the Blessed". In the painting can be seen, through concentric circles, a tunnel used by some souls to travel to the Afterlife.
  • Several supernatural phenomenons appeared in this movie: -Ghosts close to living people (Sam stands at Molly's side, instead of advancing to the Afterlife). -Possession (Orlando's ghost enters Oda Mae Brown's body). -Mediumnity (Oda Mae realizes that she can hear ghosts; later too can see them). -Poltergeist (ghost in black moves physical objects in the subway; eventually Sam learns it).
  • The shirt that Molly is wearing in the police station is the same shirt Sam was wearing at work the day he was late meeting the Japanese clients. It even appears to be wrinkled, as if she hadn't washed it so she could feel closer to Sam.
  • The highest-grossing film of 1990.
  • Oda Mae Brown tells Molly that Willie Lopez lives at 303 Prospect Place Apt 4D, but the actual apartment building used for the exterior shots is located at 592 Prospect Place in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn.
  • Whoopi Goldberg gave money to nuns and then played a nun in Sister Act (1992) and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993).
  • In the apartment of Oda Mae Brown and her two sisters, you can see for a few seconds a poster of The Who on the outside of the bedroom door next to the bathroom as Sam's ghost is pushing and scaring Willy who ends up knocking the poster down and falls into the bathroom area.
  • Ken Olin was considered for the role of Carl Bruner, but his committment to Thirtysomething (1987) prevented him from accepting the part.
  • The film turned Demi Moore into the highest paid actress in Hollywood at the time. Prior to this film, while she was a well-known actress, she wasn't a bankable star.
  • The success of this film, along with Pretty Woman (1990), is credited with making romantic films more viable at the box-office.
  • Tony Goldwyn's (Carl Bruner's) wife was the Production Designer.
  • At a 2013 AFI Night at the Movies screening of the film, Demi Moore told the audience her initial feelings on the film. "It's a love story, and it's a guy, a dead guy, trying to save his wife, and there is a comedy part, but really, really it's a love story", Moore said. "And I thought, 'Wow, this is really a recipe for disaster.' It's either going to be something really special, really amazing, or really an absolute bust." She went on to talk about what made the film special. "I think the beauty in this film is that none of us knew, and the alchemy that came together with Whoopi and Patrick, and our Film Editor, Walter Murch, and Adam Greenberg, our DP, it just had a magic."
  • In an interview with The L.A Times, Bruce Joel Rubin revealed that he was skeptical of Jerry Zucker for his script, as he wanted either Milos Forman or Stanley Kubrick. The pair went through nineteen drafts of the screenplay together, and Zucker gave the script more structure.
  • Currently on the market is the spacious 4,341-square-foot loft at 102 Prince Street, where Sam and Molly got clay all over themselves, and where they said their final goodbyes. The loft was originally listed for ten and a half million dollars but was recently lowered to a more budget-friendly ten million dollars. It has three bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths, and a Sub-Zero refrigerator.
  • In 2013, it was reported that Paramount Television had tapped Writer and Producer Akiva Goldsman and showrunner Jeff Pinkner to write a pilot based on the movie. Since then, no information has been released as to whether the pilot actually came to fruition.
  • This is one of the few supernatural themed films to be nominated for Best Picture.
  • Tony Goldwyn recalled to the A.V. Club in 2014 that his role as the conniving, murderous Carl prompted a waitress to refuse to serve him. He couldn't figure out why she was shooting him death stares, until she finally asked him if he was an actor. "She said, "I'm so sorry! I knew I hated you, but I didn't know where from, and because I couldn't place who you were'", Goldwyn said.
  • This is one of two Patrick Swayze films to have songs by Bill Medley, the other being Dirty Dancing (1987).
  • Oprah Winfrey and Tina Turner were up for the part of Oda Mae.
  • The filmmakers spent a long time casting Carl because they wanted a big-name actor. But they kept returning to the unknown Tony Goldwyn's audition tape and finally cast him.
  • Jerry Zucker came up with the iconic pottery scene while working on The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988). A year later, his brother David Zucker parodied it in The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear (1991) starring Leslie Nielsen and Priscilla Presley.
  • Patrick Swayze explained why he did the film, "I needed to do Ghost for my soul. I'd just come off Road House (1989) and Next of Kin (1989), and I didn't want to be considered just an action actor."
  • Jerry Zucker set out to make a movie that "made you laugh, cry, get scared. The movie is a roller-coaster ride."
  • When Demi Moore was cast, she had long hair and didn't tell Director Jerry Zucker she was going to cut it. Zucker was shocked, and at first didn't like it, but he now thinks it was perfect for her character.
  • Demi Moore wanted the pottery scene to look authentic, so she and Jerry Zucker took pottery lessons.
  • The pot wasn't supposed to fall apart, but Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore just kept going.
  • Demi Moore was nervous about taking this role, because Molly is mourning so soon into the movie. But she made sure to play Molly as a strong character.
  • Bruce Joel Rubin got the idea for the film while watching a production of Hamlet. When Hamlet's dead father tells him to avenge his death, Rubin thought that would make a great movie.
  • Bruce Joel Rubin had to fight to get the film made. He started pitching it to studios in 1984.
  • Bruce Joel Rubin used to say "ditto" to his high school girlfriend instead of "I love you".
  • Carl Bruner (Tony Goldwyn) was named after a grade-school teacher that Bruce Joel Rubin didn't like.
  • Jerry Zucker and Bruce Joel Rubin thought that Tony Goldwyn was too nice to play the villain. Goldwyn had to convince them that Carl needed to be both nice and evil to be believable.
  • Jerry Zucker didn't want to focus on Carl with his shirt off, so he filmed a lot of close-ups.
  • Patrick Swayze chewed on ice to make sure you couldn't see his breath. Ghosts, of course, don't breathe.
  • Bruce Joel Rubin started crying when he wrote Molly's "Ditto".
  • Bruce Joel Rubin originally pitched Oda Mae as a real psychic. But producers thought it would be funnier if she were a charlatan who starts hearing Sam.
  • Bruce Joel Rubin believes that two things date the film, the computer monitors and Arsenio Hall.
  • Tom Finnegan and Patrick Swayze appeared in Road House (1989).
  • This movie has Demi Moore playing a vulnerable, innocent-looking young woman with an endearing personality similar to those of her characters in About Last Night... (1986) and The Seventh Sign (1988). Later roles often had her playing pragmatic, unsympathetic women in positions of power in A Few Good Men (1992), Indecent Proposal (1993), Disclosure (1994) and G.I. Jane (1997), a change of persona which may have harmed Moore's career in the long run.
  • The music you hear when Sam is getting murdered, and just before he goes to the white light is also heard in The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter (1990) in several scenes.
  • On September 15, 2009, Whoopi Goldberg announced Patrick Swayze's death on The View (1997) and paid an emotional heartfelt tribute to her friend and co-star.
  • Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg) does not make an official appearance in this movie until the thirty-nine minute and thirty second mark.
  • Cameo: Susan Breslau: She is Jerry Zucker's real-life sister, and has a cameo playing the character Susan, named after her.
  • Michael Keaton, Stephen Lang, Ron Perlman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Richard Gere, robin williams, and josh Brolin were considered to play Sam Wheat.
  • After withdrawing the four million dollars at the bank, Whoopi Goldberg endorses the check and gives it to a pair of nuns on the sidewalk. She played a nun in Sister Act (1992) and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993).
  • Patrick Swayze turned down the supporting role of Steve Garner in Almost an Angel (1990) to do this film. Paul Hogan, who starred in that movie, had been offered to play Sam Wheat, but he turned it down after reading the script, as he felt it wasn't funny.
  • Whoopi Goldberg became the first actress to win Best Supporting Actress at the Academy Awards, BAFTA Awards and Golden Globe Awards, for her role in this film.
  • The only Best Picture Oscar nominee of the year to be also nominated for Original Screenplay.
  • The airplane crash footage shown in the TV when Molly and Sam are in bed together is based on a real crash of Delta Airlines flight 1141 in Dallas Fort Worth on August 31 1988.
  • The love theme from this film, Unchained Melody, was performed by the Righteous Brothers. Bill Medley performed the song "Time of my Life" in Patrick Swayze's previous film, Dirty Dancing.
  • In Maurice Jarre's main musical theme, repeated periodically in variations throughout the movie, you can hear the first 7 notes of the main theme from "Battlestar Galactica (1978)".
  • Tony Goldwyn (Carl) claimed in interviews that for years after this movie, he was often maltreated in public for conspiring to kill Patrick Swayze's character (Sam) in this film. He noted that he didn't appear to redeem himself with the public until he voiced the hero in the Disney version of "Tarzan" (1999).
  • The most rented videocassette of 1991.
  • Paul Hogan whom turned down the role of Sam Wheat had starred in another supernatural flick that was released the same year by Paramount Pictures - Almost An Angel (1990). In the film, Paul Hogan stars a Australian born thief whom is given a shot of redemption by God who sends him back to Earth as a probationary angel after he gets hit by a car saving a child. Patrick Swayze was offered the supporting role of Steve Garner in the movie but passed on it and Elias Koteas got the role.
  • Whoopi Goldberg won an Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance as Oda Mae Brown.
  • Patrick Swayze wouldn't do the movie without Whoopi Goldberg and when Whoopi Goldberg got cast as Oda Mae Brown, Patrick Swayze accepted the role.
  • In The View (1997) (TV Series) Whoopi Goldberg paid tribute to Patrick Swayze when he died from pancreatic cancer in 2009 and got emotional talking about Patrick Swayze passing away and Whoopi Goldberg thanked Patrick Swayze for winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in the movie and stated that she wouldn't had got that Oscar if not for Patrick Swayze.
  • Whoopi Goldberg's character Oda Mae Brown was written to provide the film with comic relief and humor and to be Sam's link to the world of the living.
  • Whoopi Goldberg broke the fourth wall in the funny scene which Sam irritates Oda Mae by singing "Henry VIII" which she threw a pillow towards the camera.
  • The Subway Ghost was written to be a mentor to Sam by teaching to manipulate objects with his mind.

Spoilers

  • Molly tells Sam that he "leads a charmed life". This is a line from William Shakespeare's Macbeth. Macbeth also claims to lead a charmed life, meaning he cannot be killed. Immediately after making this claim, however, he is killed. Sam is killed after seeing a production of Macbeth.
  • Bruce Willis was offered the role as Sam, but turned it down because he didn't think the movie would work with the main character being dead most of the movie. When this movie went on to become a huge success, he referred to himself as a "knucklehead" for saying no. Nine years later, he said yes to playing another main character who is dead most of the movie, but doesn't know it, in The Sixth Sense (1999), which also went on to become a huge success.
  • A total of twenty ghosts appeared throughout the movie: -Sam Wheat. -An old man who talks with Sam in the hospital, explaining that he's waiting for his wife in the cardiac wing. -A young man who dies in an operating room, ascending by a white light tunnel. -A woman in a blue dress at the cemetery during Sam's funeral. -Ghost of a man in black in the subway. -Eleven ghosts who appear in Spiritual Advisor (Oda Mae's store), plus two more who appear entering in the shop. -Willie Lopez. -Carl Bruner.
  • Body count: four, all of them men (Sam Wheat, man at hospital, Willie Lopez, and Carl Bruner).
Movie details provided by